Advice for staying safe during July 4 fireworks celebrations

Posted June 20, 2010

If you plan to celebrate Independence Day with fireworks this year, be safe and remember to keep children and pets away from fireworks.

By taking the following precautionary steps, you can prevent unnecessary injuries:

  • Use good common sense and always read and follow all warnings and instructions that appear on a firework or its packaging.
  • Always keep a hose and a bucket of water nearby in case of emergencies. Used fireworks should be soaked in a bucket of water prior to being discarded.
  • Use fireworks outdoors, only in clear areas, away from houses, buildings, fences, dry grass and trees. Firework display areas should also be smooth, flat, level and swept clean of debris.
  • Never attempt to fix or relight a firework – if it fails to light, do not relight it. Place it in a bucket of water and make sure it is fully soaked before discarding it.
  • Children should not light or handle fireworks.
  • Animals are sometimes frightened by fireworks. Keep them indoors – away from the loud noise – and secure.
  • As with any purchase, check the credibility of the distributor to make sure their fireworks are reliable, legal and come from a licensed source.
  • Do not smoke when handling any type of fireworks.
  • Do not use fireworks while under the influence of alcohol.
  • Always use products that are legal in your community. For large displays, North Carolina law requires a permit from area leaders and approval from the local fire marshal. To buy professional-grade fireworks, a person must be age 21 or older and have a clean criminal record.

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